Center for American Progress
Van Jones is currently Special Advisor for Green Jobs, Entreprise and innovation, White House Council on Environmental Quality. Prior to this, Jones founded and was the Director of the Ella Baker Centre for Human Rights, founded in 1996 and named for an unsung civil rights heroine. The Centre seeks to replace the US incarceration industry with youth opportunities and community-based solutions. In 2002, the Centre’s “Books Not Bars Campaign” helped stop the construction of a costly and controversial “Super-Jail” for Oakland’s youth. Presently, the Centre is working to close all of California’s scandal-plagued youth prisons and replace them with regional rehabilitation centres. Jones is also a passionate advocate for the environment and for responsible business. He serves on numerous governing Boards, including: Rainforest Action Network, WITNESS, Bioneers, the New Apollo Project and the Social Venture Network. His efforts have earned him many honours, including the Reebok International Human Rights Award, the Ashoka Fellowship and the Rockefeller Foundation’s Next Generation Leadership Fellowship. Born in rural west Tennessee, Jones graduated in 1990 from the University of Tennessee at Martin and in 1993, from Yale Law School.